Issue 18;

 Being At Home

Creative Writing

The Buddha That Stayed at Home - A newly Discovered Story from the Teachings

By Angyu Devin Ashwood

Thus have I imagined.  Once the Lord was staying at Savatthi, in Anathapindikas monastery,in the Jeta grove. And among a number of monks who had gathered together after their meal, after the alms round, sitting in the Kareri pavilion, there arose a serious discussion on the merits of going forth from home, as they said: ‘It is necessary that one of good family goes forth and gives up worldly things’ and ‘The Lord himself showed us his example’ and ‘We are sure to accomplish the path by following our Lord thus’.

Upon hearing this, the Lord rose and said "Enough monks, enough, sit and the Lord will espouse to you what he has seen with his purified divine-eye faculty, surpassing the powers of humans"

"One hundred and eight kalpas past, a girl was born to the Kalissali family to a mother of lowly caste.  No auspicious signs heralded her birth, no sages predicted a glorious future and no wise men bought gifts.  She grew up in obscurity with all the weaknesses and desires, joys and follies of a child. A girl of average intellect she did not shine above her brothers and sisters. 

As she grew into a woman, she loved and lost, felt the pain of clinging to her desires and struggled to find meaning to life.  No-one noticed the growing doubt inside her.  No-one saw the widening expanse of voidness in her life, no-one witnessed her inner scream of daily obscurity.

She married and had a child but this too bought no end to her inner anguish, she knew she must seek where no-one else had looked, but she did not leave her husband and child in the middle of the night, but stayed with the day to day cleaning and the day to day hardship of family life, the arguments, the sleepless nights, the unfulfilled expectancies and dreams.

She sought answers that never came, but she noticed that there were those who carried their pain with dignity and peace, these wise friends she tried to be with, to learn from and in time, she found a teacher and after that, another and another, but none of them answered her deepest question. She then had more children.

So she set out alone in the centre of her family, raising her infants, working day and night to pay her way, balancing the calling of her husband, parents and the expectations of family.  Each day, she opened to the teacher of her experience, her pain, frustration, disappointment, pleasure, joy, laughter and each day she sat in the stillness and confusion of her own mind.  She sought resolutely for the cause of all suffering and vowed to be unmoved till she had penetrated the truth.  After eight years of struggling with her ridiculous vow, on the full moon of Vesak while sitting under the clothes drying rack, she finally gave up her quest and went once again to soothe her crying baby, and in this simple act of compassion, she realised that infinite Buddhas in the ten directions were with her and never sought the truth again.

After seven weeks of contemplating her great awakening, she realised that there was no way to teach what she had learned but instead lived out her life in the obscurity of devoted service to her family and community and a great many gods and men were inspired by her kindness to live the holy life.

This was the Buddha called ‘No-one-heard-of’."

Thus the Lord spoke and the monks rejoiced at his words.

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